Let’s Make a Deal

Peter's Hill ViewFor the Parent Imperfect, there is nothing like a walk in the Arboretum to shake away the long weekend blahs. Liz and Connie are off visiting Liz’s parents on Cape Cod, and the PI stayed home with Vincent so that he could study, play in two soccer games and, as it turns out, sleep over with two friends. He also stayed home with Della, the neighbors’ dog. Now, there’s a situation that is ripe for the blahs.

Minutes after V’s friend got picked up this AM, the PI insisted that they both take Della for a walk in the Arbs. Always interested in thrilling two birds with one tone, the PI said, “Why don’t you take your Latin flash cards with you and you can look at them while we’re walking. That way, you’ll be all done studying before Miguel comes” [to take V for the second sleepover].

If there was anything V wanted to do less than take a walk in the Arbs, it was study Latin flash cards, but he relented on both counts, sensing that it was time to give a little to the old man. As they headed toward the park, their neighbor across the street shouted, “What are you doing today? We’re going to go out apple picking and looking for pumpkins.”

“Good idea, but Vincent is going over to Miguel’s for the day.”

A few steps later, the PI added, “We’re going to be too busy playing PS3 all day to pick apples.”

That was it for V, who didn’t want to be on this walk, anyway. It took some quick apologies by the PI to keep the outing from disintegrating right there, on the sidewalk.

It was hard not to be feeling better when they got into the Arboretum. Even Della, who had been limping around all of the day before, was suddenly her old self again.

The fresh air gave the PI an idea, and he asked V if he though Miguel would want to go apple-picking. “Sure, but you have to tell his mother before they,” came the answer.

The PI immediately called Miguel’s mother and caught her just as she entered church with her family [the PI was skipping this Sunday].

Si, sería magnífico. No tememos planes. Al contrario, van a estar todo el día en la casa.” She, too, was happy at the idea of getting her son outside on a beautiful day.

From there, the day got steadily brighter. To the PI’s surprise, Vincent even took out his little flash cards and began to do the bidding of the Magistra. By the time they reached the top of Peter’s Hill, he was ready to deal.

“Why don’t you test me on these here, and if I get 20 out of 25, you’ll leave me along until Miguel gets here?” Knowing full well that the boy hadn’t studied, the PI agreed and they sat down on a stone at the top of the hill to go through the cards. Never had a Latin test been taken with a better view.

Aqueduct?…[Who the hell cares how to say “Aqueduct” in Latin?  When did you use the word in English?]

To the PI’s utter amazement, V got 24 of the 25 cards right and got half of the right answer on the other card. All he needs is to get the nation’s oldest public school to conduct classes at the top of Peter’s Hill.

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